Curule Chair

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In the Roman Republic, and later the Empire, the curule seat was the chair upon which senior magistrates were entitled to sit, including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. he curule chair was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory, with curved legs forming a wide X; it had no back, and low arms. The chair could be folded, and thus an easily transportable seat, originally for magisterial and promagisterial commanders in the field, developed a hieratic significance, expressed in fictive curule seats on funerary monuments, a symbol of power which was never entirely lost in post-Roman European tradition. Sixth-century consular ivory diptychs of Orestes and of Constantinus each depict the consul seated on an elaborate curule seat with crossed animal legs.


chair, stool




William & Robert Chambers Encyclopaedia - A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge for the People (Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1881)


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